A PENSIONER aged 84 from Greenock who miraculously survived coronavirus has told how she spent weeks trying to see her doctor as she struggled badly during her recovery.

Ivy Siegfried was rushed to hospital in January after becoming gravely ill over the festive period and spent a week fighting for her life, on a drip and being given oxygen to keep her alive.

Even when she made it through and was discharged she was so weak that when she returned to her home in Dunlop Street that she could not walk upstairs to go to bed and had to sleep on her sofa.

Due to thrush she was also unable to eat.

Ivy - who has battled cancer and suffers from asthma - has been suffering extreme fatigue and fears she may have 'long Covid', but she says her attempts to see a doctor and ask about this were continually frustrated.

Mrs Siegfried said: "I was very poorly.

"I could hardly walk, my ankles and feet were swelling.

"But it took me weeks to get a doctor's appointment."

The senior citizen had first called her Cochrane Medical Practice at Greenock Health Centre when her hair began falling out and her skin started flaking.

But she says it was almost impossible to get through.

Ivy said: "I called at two minutes to eight in the morning and was told it didn't open until 8am.

"I called right after 8am - and I was 49th in the queue.

"How can that be in the space of two minutes?"

When she tried again Ivy waited 45 minutes, only to get through at last and be told that all the appointments were gone.

When she finally got to speak to a nurse from the practice, Ivy claims she was quizzed about why she wanted to know about long Covid.

She told the Tele: "I asked what long Covid was and he asked me why I wanted to know that.

"When I told him my hair was falling out and my skin was flaking and I was tired all the time he told me it was due to my age.

"I was furious.

"He said he would send me shampoo and body lotion and if it didn't work get back to them.

"But that's the whole point - I can't get back to them, I can't get an appointment."

Ivy says after all she has been through she shouldn't have to fight to see a GP.

She said: "That's why the hospitals are so busy.

"People are going to A&E to see a doctor when they should be able to go to their own surgery.

"I think it's a scandal that people can't see a doctor."

The Telegraph contacted the practice manager at Ivy's surgery to offer the right of reply to her complaint, but they refused to comment.

He said: "We have a duty of patient confidentiality.

"We have a formal NHS complaints procedure, a copy of which I will forward to the patient, requesting that she contacts the practice direct with any concerns."